When Ozzy Osbourne and Sony Music defraud their fans (Updated)

(Updated April 18 2020 with customer support response)

It pains me to write this article. But i have to put it out there. Ozzy Osbourne (or his management) and Sony Music are cheating their fans.

I collect autographed memorabilia. I always have, but got really serious about it in the last few years. When Ozzy’s latest CD ‘Ordinary Man‘ went up for pre-order, his UK official store offered an autographed bundle that contained the autographed CD and, I believe, the 3 cassette editions. I was tempted, but wondered just how good the album would be, and surely wasn’t feeling up to buying cassettes in 2020! So I passed.

Then the album came out, and I like a good chunk of it. Then people started getting their autographed CDs, and they looked great. Regret hit me quickly, but the offer was of course sold out by then. I kicked myself for missing out on a unique opportunity.

Then I saw that his US store was offering a signed CD. Great! I wouldn’t have to buy the whole package to get the autograph. So I placed an order.

With the pandemic going on, the delivery date was pushed back, which felt perfectly understandable. Hey, I wouldn’t want Ozzy to catch COVID-19 while signing a bunch of CDs. I can wait. Then the shipping notices went out. Yeah!

But when people started receiving their CDs, word quickly spread out: those were not personally signed by Ozzy. They were signed with an autopen machine. There are telltale dots where the machine stopped and went, and among everyone’s CDs, there are only 3 different signatures. All the rest are perfectly identical to one of those 3, which no human being can achieve. To add insult to injury, my CD was shipped in an oversized envelope that got folded in two places by the postal service. My bogus cover is bent.

Some frustrated customers provided screenshots of emails from customer service who, prior to shipping, assured them the CDs would be personally autographed. I sent an email to customer support too, and I’m still waiting for an answer after 10 days despite their assurance that all messages are answered within 48 hours. If I don’t get an answer, I’ll try to contact my credit card to see if a chargeback can be done, but I kind of doubt my tale of autopenned covers will find a amicable ear. Will Sony Music and Ozzy’s team step up and do the right thing?

I’ll update this article as more info comes out. At least the signed CDs are no longer offered, so no other fan can be defrauded. It’s sad that there are many fans out there who are not knowledgeable about autographs that think they have a genuine signed Ozzy CD. Caveat emptor!

Examples from fans posted on Facebook. You’ll notice covers 1 is identical to 3, and 2 to 4.
These dots are clear signs of an autopen machine. (Photo from Kevin Potter on the Autograph Universe Facebook group)
My copy, which matches Kevin’s perfectly.
My first email to support went unanswered. I wrote again today.

Update 4/18: I finally got a response from customer support, to my first email from April 4th. They double down and claim the signatures are genuine when they clearly are not. I was given a return form, but they want me to pay for shipping it back despite the fact that the form clearly mentions pre-paid return labels. I insisted they pay for shipping, but don’t expect a resolution.

Jean-Frederic Vachon
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